After thinking long and hard about some witty North-South musical analogy and coming up with nothing, I feel safe saying the newest disc from Toronto's post-punk rockers the Two Koreas is far more cohesive than the splintered namesake country. Maintaining a sound that relies heavily on Pavement's slacker melodies, the Fall's angular, jangled assault and the Velvet Underground's swagger, Altruists showcases enough songwriting skill to avoid the standard direct-rip-off slam that's tempting to ascribe to them. The most appealing thing about the disc is how much attitude oozes through the speakers, thanks in part to organic production from former Shadowy Man Don Pyle. And the music critics who partly make up this band prove they really do know what they're talking about.
Two Koreas launch their CD at the Sparrow tonight (Thursday, November 30).